Today would have been the 79th birthday of Bernie "Boom Boom" Geoffrion. The 1961 Hart Trophy winner as the NHLs MVP also won the Art Ross trophy as the league top scorer in 1955 and 1961. He won 6 Stanley Cups with the Montreal Canadiens.
After retiring in 1964 he returned in 1966 to play 2 more seasons with the New York Rangers. He retired for good in 1968 and became the coach of the Rangers but quit that position due to stomach problems. He would return to the bench in 1972 as the first head coach of the Atlanta Flames and led them to their first playoff appearance in 1974.
He reached his dream of coaching the Canadiens in 1979 but again his stomach problems forced him to resign the position mid season.
In March of 2005 the Montreal Canadiens announced they would retire his #5 on March 11 2006. In a sad, strange twist Bernie was diagnosed with stomach cancer on March 8th and then on the day of his number retirment ceremony Boom Boom died from cancer.
His most enduring legacy is his "invention" of the slapshot. Up to that time the wrist shot was the most used shot by all players.